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New and need pricing help

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by willofalltrades, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. willofalltrades

    willofalltrades Member
    Messages: 97

    I am relatively new to this forum. I have been a member but haven't watched it like I have lawnsite. This year I plowed for a local larger company with a Bobcat and a 9' Boss blade. That gave me some valuable knowledge and encouraged me to sell snowplowing to my customers for the 2007-2008 season. I am being paid $20 an hour to run the bobcat though so I do not know what to charge for my services. Whats a solid way to figure prices. Is it similar to figuring my lawn mowing prices?
     
  2. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    $20/hr for a Bobcat? I don't care what part of the country you're in, that's only decent wages for a guy with a shovel. Maybe figure it as experience. For a 7.5' straight blade with your own accounts, price equivalent to around $125/hr. So, if you figure something will take ten minutes (1/6 hr), quote $20-$25 plus travel time. Most guys have a minimum - mine is $30. Some areas of the country will be higher than I quote.

    $20/hr for a Bobcat? Are you providing fuel and an operator (yourself)?
     
  3. poncho62

    poncho62 Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    I think they are paying him $20/hr to run their Bobcat.........thats the way I read it.

    About pricing....I just do driveways....minimum $20.........mostly older people....They seem happy with that.
     
  4. willofalltrades

    willofalltrades Member
    Messages: 97

    I am being payed $20 an hour to run another guy's 873 Bobcat with his Boss Blade. If it was my machine and my blade I would make $60 an hour.
     
  5. willofalltrades

    willofalltrades Member
    Messages: 97

    SO you get paid $20 per plow? If theres a bad season you don't make any money? Or do I just understand it wrong?

    I want to be guaranteed income during the winter months if theres a bad season. So I figure I estimate the amount of plows per season. Multiply that number times my plow rate. Then divide that number by how many months (Nov.-March) and bill that amount monthly. Basically have then pay for x amount of plows and if they excede that number than I charge for the extra plows. Is this rediculous or a good Idea? Feedback...
     
  6. poncho62

    poncho62 Senior Member
    Messages: 431

    Thats right................I do this just as a sideline....something to do in the winter...............I live in a neighbour hood with a lot of older people...I have a 24 year old Blazer with a small blade on it....I like to help the older people out........

    We had 6 inches of wet snow yesterday.............I made about $300....and a bunch of older people are happy.
     
  7. willofalltrades

    willofalltrades Member
    Messages: 97

    Sounds like it works for ya... I need to pay the bills through winter. I know I will make enough this summer to cover them, I just don't want to eat out of my business account. That way the next piece of equipment i purchase Is with cash and not financed.

    Any feed back on this topic and what i said in my last post or is this beaten to death on here?... I'll search around but keep em commin
     
  8. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Well, it's a good idea, but as a customer, I'd never go along with the part about... "if they excede that number than I charge for the extra plows.". Either I would pay $xxx for the season with unlimited number of plows or I'd pay $yyy per plow. With a "seasonal" account (which basically the first one is), you're both taking a gamble. As a contractor, you're relying on averages and, therefore, would want to sign a multiple year agreement. By saying I'll charge a flat rate for the season, you're assured of a certain income and can make financial commitments based on that income. This is why most contractor want a good mix of seasonal and per push accounts. They can base purchases on the seasonal accounts and the per push accounts will cover the fluctuating costs of a winter with a higher than average snowfall that needs pushed - as in more fuel used, more driver costs, more things that break etc.
     
  9. DodgeRam1985

    DodgeRam1985 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 82

    Driveways typically run about $25-35 a piece per plow (so if it needs two plows, multiply those prices by two, etc.). My prices seem to keep pace with those around me, but I do give discounts to the elderly. You just need to figure how much it costs you to run your truck, cover equipment, maintenance and upkeep of equipment, and how valuable your time is.
     
  10. willofalltrades

    willofalltrades Member
    Messages: 97

    So if i have a hourly rate should I just figure how long it will take to do the drive then charge according to my rate? I mean my hourly rate is for landscaping this summer so I would think to pay the bills I should keep it true to snowplowing right?
     
  11. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    Typically, your hourly rate for plowing snow is going to be much higher than for landscaping. The "average" is $125/hr for an 8' plow. Set a minimum (I use $35) and go from there. While I say my minimum is $35, I do have a couple that I do cheaper - one for $30 and one for $20. These are for elderly women. The one for $20 is in her 80s and really hard up, but won't take plowing for free, so I told her to give me $20 this winter and we'll look at again next winter. The other is in her 70s and went back to work as a Nurse for the income.
     
  12. dunlaps lawncare

    dunlaps lawncare Senior Member
    Messages: 111

    my mini is $20 bucks and all i have is a shovel and snow blower
     
  13. Brant'sLawnCare

    Brant'sLawnCare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,752

    I agree with this. In Ohio, you should easily be able to get at least $35 per drive. I can get that around here, and my area doesn't have the greatest market, plus it's my first year. Most guys in my area however, won't touch a driveway or a lawn for less than $35 or $40. If you are opperating your own skid steere, as a sub, you should probably be getting at least $80 hr. If your not a sub, you should be charging more, somewhere more like $120-$140/hr. That's what most guys on here charge. Anyway, good luck this year. Hope this helps.
     
  14. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo Senior Member
    from nw ohio
    Messages: 115

    Ohio

    contrary to popular belief.. Ohio is VERY economically depressed.....especially residential accounts...more out of work people here and just north in Michigan then any where else in th country.... We also both have the highest foreclosure rate....

    His prices match mine and my competitions too.....but the commercial accounts i can get 120 per hour........
     
  15. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,882

    I wish I could get 30-35 per push on some. I have seen prices as low as 5 bucks per push:dizzy: Even at 20 per push I get complaints. Commercial is the only way around here to get 90 or more per hour. But even the commercial market is going lower and lower. That and with all the layoffs going on locally, the market is going to be flushed with el-cheapos. Anymore, snowplowing around here is no way to make decent monay, unless you got a few trucks and can service alot of places. just my 0.02 though